Sunday, 16 September 2012 17:47
Is your gas stove unreliable, expensive and unromantic? Perhaps try a wood burning Rocket Stove!
I bought a Rocket Stove from Wild Stoves because my gas stove can be slow or stop working entirely in winter. Also, I like to use local wood as fuel where possible.
It is no good for lightweight travel, but no problem if you are travelling by car or van.
A Rocket Stove is pretty efficient in its wood consumption; a couple of handfuls of kindling will cook a meal for two. It takes pots and pans of all kinds; I have used household frying pans, stainless steel billies, kettles and a 4 litre cast iron Dutch oven.
Because it is relatively enclosed and can be raised off the ground, campsites which allow barbeques, but not other kinds of open fires, have always allowed me to use this Rocket Stove. I often raise it into a fire pit or onto bricks if cooking in a grassy area (although not on the damp evening that I took the photographs above).
The relative enclosure of this stove also means it can be reasonably tolerant of a strong breeze; if angled correctly, it drives heat up the chimney to make an even more efficient boil. However, it does not tolerate blustery weather so well, since changes in wind direction can result in hot air (and if you're unlucky, a few flames too) being driven back down the chimney and out of the wood-feeding inlet instead.
When working nicely (which is most of the time) the arched inlet does provide a romantic fireside effect.
Click here for a Wikipedia diagram of the basic features of a rocket stove.
Happy outdoor cooking...
"The blind string trail was a little bit scary but I felt really happy when I got to the end."
Year One Pupil at NHEHS